ARG presents proposal to ensure sustainable greyhound racing

DESPITE what you may have heard, greyhound racing in NSW has a future with integrity and welfare at its core.

It just needs a fair go and the right plan in place.

That plan has now been drawn up.

AustralianRacingGreyhound.com.au has presented the New South Wales Labor Party with a comprehensive industry model, which guarantees the sustainability of the sport moving forward.

The submission comes after Premier Mike Baird and Deputy Premier Troy Grant announced the proposed ban of greyhound racing within the state as of July 1, 2017.

The decision to shut down the industry followed the report from the Special Commission of Inquiry tabled by Justice Michael McHugh. The same report is currently embroiled in a Supreme Court controversy, with many of the figures used to condemn the industry being called into question.

With a small glimmer of hope moving forward, Kevin Pitstock, the CEO of Racemedia, the parent company of AustralianRacingGreyhound.com.au, said it is vital for the industry to show it’s sustainable as it fights for the ban to be overturned.

“A lot of the argument from the Baird and Grant Government has been centred around the concept that greyhound racing is unsustainable and that welfare reforms are un-fundable,” Pitstock said.

“That prompted us to do some further investigation and come up with our own model, which we believe is quite revolutionary as far as the racing industry is concerned, particularly in regards to our concept of a welfare future fund.

“Our proposal allows for 728 meetings per year, allowing greater racing opportunities for greyhounds in comparison to the proposal of 593 meetings per year as put forward by the Joint Working Group.

“The modelling is based on the assumption that recommendation 64 of the McHugh report is adopted and that greyhound racing receive 22 per cent of turnover.

“Based on the figures we have provided, it proves that with our fair share of TAB revenue, greyhound racing is sustainable.”

Getting more dogs to the track and prolonging careers is another challenge facing the industry moving forward, with the ARG model allowing for a minimum of 3,000 pups whelped each year, 80 per cent of which are expected to make the track, with 7280 races accounted for per annum– working out as 14 meetings per week across the state.

Introducing the Greyhound Welfare Future Fund

The standout point of the model is the establishment of a Welfare Future Fund, which would ensure that every greyhound which is born into the industry is given the opportunity to live a full life.

“The key part of the equation is the establishment of the welfare future fund, which means that every greyhound which goes to the track effectively contributes to the welfare of all greyhounds born, retired and re-homed,” Pitstock said.

The fund could potentially feature a $20 rebate per week for each retired greyhound – encouraging owners to keep their dogs. The rebate would also rewarding anyone in the community taking on a greyhound through adoption programs.

Greyhounds are well-known for making placid, lazy and beautifully-natured family pets,

The expanded figures surrounding the planned fund excited Pitstock.

“Our figures indicate that it would contribute $12 million in year one towards animal welfare and we foresee that in five years it could potentially be up around $50-60 million and it would ultimately self-fund,” he said.

“Based on the preliminary figures we are looking at around $4,000 per greyhound to put towards their future welfare and care after they finish racing.

Greyhound Industry Model

“There is no disputing that there needs to be a much more significant push towards improving animal welfare and the industry itself needs to remain in control of the welfare and care of these greyhounds.

“The fund would be exclusive of prize money – it is something that would be contributed directly from GRNSW into the future fund every time a greyhound starts.

“It’s not something that comes out of prize money or appearance money – the participant themselves will not be losing out.”

Pitstock explained the concept of the Future Fund would be to ensure there is appropriate finance to assist with a greyhound’s retirement once their career is complete.

“The future fund is an investment which can be used to draw down upon for the future welfare, care and needs of all greyhounds,” he said.

“The money is not there to plunder or for people to fund their own lifestyle – it is there for the greyhounds.

“It would fund the adoption programs and it would allow for the purchase of properties where large numbers of greyhounds could be cared for on a bigger scale than what is currently happening.

“This concept accounts for every greyhound born – not just the ones who make the track.

“It is important that the industry offers full life care for every greyhound born and under this model that would be achievable.”

The revolutionary concept would be in addition to increased regulatory functions to ensure the integrity of the sport is maintained at an all-time high.

“There are some substantial increases in finance which are to be put towards integrity,” Pitstock said.

“GRNSW from their 2014/2015 annual return stated they had an expense of approximately $1,900 for stewarding and integrity matters per meeting.

“This model allows for the allocation of $3,300 per meeting and that is exclusive of swabbing which needs to be increased.

“By improving our swabbing rates up to approximately three swabs per race it brings us in line with Racing NSW who in 2014/2015 swabbed 2.8 times per race.”

Pitstock said that there were also significant ways to reduce costs in relation to club structure which should also be addressed if the industry is given the chance to reform.

“There are significant cost savings under the sector of Club Administration by centralising the employment and oversight of the clubs themselves to GRNSW.

“Under the model GRNSW would employ club staff themselves, allowing for greater oversight and the control of spend.

“The figures also don’t include the revenue that the local tracks themselves raise through private sponsorship, trialling or special events and that would be an additional stream of revenue which hasn’t been accounted for.”

Pitstock is also of the belief an independent body separate to the commercial functions of GRNSW should be established, such as the Labor Party’s proposal for a Greyhound Racing Integrity Commission.

He was highly critical of the current and former governance at GRNSW, stating that sweeping changes need to occur – all of which are allowed for within the model.

“The priorities within GRNSW are skewed – we are led to believe their current legal expenses for the financial year is running at $1.2 million,” he said.

“Why does a body like this need to spend that much on legal?

“They are also operating an investigation and integrity department which is not operating in unison with stewards.

“I think the Greyhound Racing Integrity Commission is a good idea but I also think there is some merit in having an Integrity Commission, which oversees things related to stewards and integrity, which is for all three codes combined.”

Participants would also be catered for under the model, which would elevate prize money – a move which would in turn have a positive effect on welfare.

“In 2014/2015 the average participant was returning $339 per starter – which is dwarfed in comparison to Racing NSW with its participants returned around $3,596 on average per starter.

“Under our new model we would pay a flat rate appearance money of $25 per dog and participant returns per starter on average would increase to $439.

“It’s a win for all aspects of the industry – welfare is taken care of, prize money is increased and we are paying for more stewards, veterinarians and swabs – this structure would see the industry move forward in a big way.”

 

Past Discussion

  1. simplistic,workable,but………

    the hurdle is BAIRD himself,and the ANIMAL ACTIVISTS,plus WENTWORTH PARK.

    I cannot see BAIRD stepping down and away. whilst this proposal has tremendous  potential,and obviously well thought out, I don’t believe WELFARE ISSUES are the reason behind BAIRDS MOVEMENT.

    it goes deeper,but we as outsiders and not invited to know what sneaky dealings are going on behind the walls of parliament, UNTIL someone/something adjusts that mindset of BAIRDS, you have no hope of getting any solid proposal through.

    similar thoughts have been bandied around, and all have merit, and KP is no fool, but don’t lose sight of that PREMIER who is not a normal human. he is so corrupt in his decisions HE EVEN SCARES HIMSELF.

    we must surrender WENTY PARK, I believe that is a must. we need to restructure a new zone and turn it into the  head base so to speak

    .

    another giant hurdle is the INTERCODE AGREEMENT….no way will the thoroughbreds/harness, let the greyhound industry take its fair share.,  they do not see it that way.

    this proposal is based on getting that fair share. and that is the hurdle. it wont be allowed to happen.

    one good attack is to inform the HORSE INDUSTRIES,that what is happening to us,will come to your own front doors………..soon.

    better to do a deal as a whole group,and get what you can now,because if this continues the way it is heading EVERY CODE IS DOOMED.

    something they need to consider heavily,but past histrionics suggests that will be BAA HUMBUGGED.

  2. RaceMedia dogem53 ok. thanks for pointing that out.

    do you see that WP is a formality though to ‘get out of there”.

    he obviously wants it,desperately.

  3. RaceMedia dogem53 Lord Glouchester the original owner of the estate that is now Glouchester Park harness racing track in WA bequeathed the estate to be held in trust never to be used for anything but harness racing. It is in or adjacent to the Perth CBD and the state govt has made several attempts to resume it for development without success.

    Would putting all privately owned greyhound tracks in NSW into a trust for greyhounds use keep the wolves from the door?

  4. I am not an industry person but I would like to ask about the Vet care at meetings proposal. Is the increase in Veterinary care to encourage treating on track injuries that would normally result in on-track euthanasia? 

    The reason I ask is, that to encourage future patronage and continued support, knowing that a dog that has a spill will be treated, and obviously retired for rehoming is huge positive. 

    Thanks for your time.

  5. Dezzey Appropriate acute clinical care of severe injuries would certainly aid better outcomes. Where more than one vet was available to a meeting that would encourage better care of the greyhound and the participant in an acute setting.

    In general there is a lack of expert greyhound vets available to the industry, and any long term approach needs to include provision for the encouragement and training of vets who are highly trained and experienced with greyhounds. Again that would consistently produce better outcomes for greyhounds.

  6. “The modelling is based on the assumption that recommendation 64 of the McHugh report is adopted and that greyhound racing receive 22 per cent of turnover.

    “Based on the figures we have provided, it proves that with our fair share of TAB revenue, greyhound racing is sustainable

    and it was TROY GRANT himself, who laughed at poor old LENNY FOLEY  that day of confrontation,about how we were stupid enough to sign such a ridiculous agreement. GRANT/BAIRD know it is that point alone what is sinking the industry.

    that is a precursor to our situation,and it is still a MAJOR POINT to get anywhere,and if we cannot get our fair share,then nothing can work.

    How can we change that agreement then?

    the same damn reason and excuse that BAIRD is kicking the GOTBA deal out the back door for WENTWORTH PARK.. agreements are only good when it suits. he has shown that by doing exactly that,, AND

    he knows a comparison can be easily run parallel with the INTERCODE agreement

    and the WENTY PARK agreement,and if used in a SUPREME COURT hearing,we would win.

    he knows this,so he will prey to his ANGLICAN GOD that NO ONE EVER RAISES THIS.

    so, we need that exact point made clear when negotiating with him about our fair share in the CODE AGREEMENT. no stand downs,no horse brouhaha antics,get what is owned and belongs to the GREYHOUND INDUSTRY.

    win that,and plans like this are a mere formality.

    we just need someone to virtually challenge the INTERCODE AGREEMENT as unfair,and not worth the paper it is written on. same as BAIRD thinks the GOTBA & WENTY PARK AGREEMENT is done and buried..

  7. RaceMedia Dezzey one sticky point is race track injuries. I recall a well known EUROPEAN VET who was rabid on why do greyhound people put dogs down regardless of serious injuries.

    it is obvious why,and he is right,that any dog can/should be saved regardless of the severity of the injury. broken hocks should never spell the end of a dogs life. no matter the excuse of how shattered the bones were etc;,they deserve to live. do the ops and repair the dog, retire the dog, and get it adopted if owner cannot or will not take dog into his/her care. you fix that situation,and you become a leader of ANIMAL WELFARE even ahead of the illustrious RSPCA. may even put them out of business,which would be a deserved point.

    so do that,and have the funds to do that,and how can anyone group,even a government,say we are cruel and slaughterers.

    I love the sentence about HAVING WELL INFORMED AND TRAINED GREYHOUND VETS. any vet should be capable, but being extreme athletes,they require a tad more attention.

    where is DR. GANNON when we need him.

  8. dogem53  Once again with respect we know Baird is not concerned with welfare issues but we are and so is the community. He is not the only politician in the land he just thinks he is. Lets fight against the ban and argue the finer details later.

  9. dogem53 RaceMedia 

    You’re right, it would be a huge positive and maybe lead to advancements in vet science. I read the other the day about a dog gettign put down for a broken toe and thinking, that ‘s not a good look for racing at the moment. 

    Also need some industry days or open-days at Kennels would be good to remove some of the mythology.

  10. quiberon  you need to be a little patient here some of us on this site have not spent our lives on social media  and mobile phones. I thought LOL was little old lady until recently. Yes some of us don’t have texting skills and have never sent one. Perhaps you could provide us with some rules. I know that using capital letters is considered shouting but I only learnt that about six months ago and dogem is a similarly vintage to me. I wouldn’t mind a list of abbreviations.

  11. quiberon  PS quiberon I did take a “selfie” the other day – a friend’s teenage son showed me how on his mobile phone- but I knew there must be something wrong with that app or software because this old wrinkled lady was looking back at me and I thought this doesn’t work who is that person. lol

  12. Deborah555 quiberon You sound like a nice lady (lol?), particularly as you don’t feel the need to shout to get your point across. By the way, I am vintage 1942 , with some 35 years as an owner/trainer and trainer (ex). I keep a weather-eye on this forum with interest, consequently, but am wondering what happened to Bruce Teague, as I used to enjoy his articles.

    PS The “lol” refers to you first post.

  13. quiberon Deborah555  Yes Bruce would add an excellent voice here I don’t know where he is either. Thank you for describing me as a nice lady a few politicians I have been emailing think differently. I have upset a number of them. Yes I am sure you remember a time when computers were the stuff of science fiction novels too then if you are vintage 1942. I think we have learnt from this campaign though the power of social media the animal activists certainly know how to make the most of it. Where I live you get one call on the landline every few days otherwise it crackles so badly you cannot hear, if you want to use the mobile you stand on top of the cattle ramp and the internet cost me a couple of  thousand to set up. I have never got on any “forum” before or emailed pollies but this is an outrageous attack on democracy and the rights of ordinary people and you have to make a stand.

  14. Baird will not agree to anything positive for NSW greyhound racing because he sold you out to the Animal Justice Party for their vote on the schools bill. Pearson wanted the dogs stopped for his vote. 

  15. GeoffWilson  Yes he certainly did Geoff and along with the greens as well as Pearson. We have racing under attack so the  small minority of people who currently have equal rights under the law, access to family law via the defacto laws but want to” proclaim their love in public” apparently- I thought expressing your affection with your same sex partner on every news media outlet was pretty public. I am with the Rev and his people on this one. The job of school teachers is not to push the views of a minority onto children. What consenting adults do in the privacy of their own home does not need to be part of the school curriculum. I can remember a time when if you made any kind of a political statement to children you would, as a teacher, have some serious explaining to do. Now apparently you are expected to promote the rights of the 0.001% of the population of men who wish to dress as unattractive women to kids. What next? Voting rights for gay whales.

  16. quiberon U REFERING TO MOI?

    I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT CAPS ON A FORUM POSTING MEAN OLD SON.

    MAKING A POINT……..LIKE RIGHT NOW.

    MESSAGE UNDERSTOOD?

  17. Deborah555 GeoffWilson The entire system is kaput. Minorities get what they want because everyone sits back and says nothing. When they do say something they are either racists or bullies.Time for the politicians to grow a pair, as Ray Hadlee has said. Stand up and be counted for the people that you are supposed to represent. Chances of that happening… minimal.They only run for the position to assist themselves. Load of trash, Aussie politicians.

  18. GeoffWilson Deborah555  Yes I am over some of the minorities pushing some ridiculous personal obsession. I think we all have to start making them account for themselves. There are some good pollies but they get howled down by the ones who think animal justice,  problem gambling, tree frogs,  hating immigrants, mob justice for anyone committing (sorry make that just accused) of a sex offence, men who want to dress as unattractive women, covering the CBD in concrete.  etc etc etc.  None of these wack jobs seem to have anything resembling an economic policy or what to do about unemployment and as for the greens some-one please get the round up out.

  19. http://www.theherald.com.au/story/4108088/a-greyhound-breeding-ban-is-bairds-call/

    AGR….KEVIN PITSTOCK.

    KP,i have just found this on facebook.

    when one reads this article closely,one cannot help but see a possible nudge,nudge,wink,wink outlook.

    your proposal needs to be going ahead,if it isn’t already,because I feel,if the right sensible managed proposal is put in front of DR. KENIRY, he may,i said may, be swayed a moratorium on the JULY2017 closure could be negotiated.

    one has to believe he is giving hints/clues in that interview,so maybe he is saying a court appeal will damage the chances of a better outcome.

    have a read,and you others, and see if I am correct here.